IFS2020: A Strategy for Ireland’s International Financial Services Industry

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IFS2020: A Strategy for Ireland’s International Financial Services Industry Ireland has long been a competitive location for international financial services (IFS) companies. The recently released “IFS2020 – a Strategy for Ireland’s Financial Services Sector 2015-2020” sets out the Government’s vision for the future and presents a five year strategy to further develop Ireland as a global leader in this sector.

Over the last 25 years, Ireland’s international financial services sector has grown spectacularly, attracting significant levels of foreign investment which has both provided business opportunities for Irish companies and made a significant contribution to employment levels. IFS2020 sets an ambitious target to grow the level of direct employment in the IFS sector from its current level of 35,000 to at least 45,000 people by 2020.

To deliver this target, IFS2020 sets out five strategic priorities with 30 actions to be implemented.

Promote Ireland as a location for international financial services

Actions to be taken under this priority include:

  • Use the international Embassy network and overseas State bodies to actively promote and market Ireland as a high quality location of choice for investment in IFS
  • Develop and coordinate high-profile IFS events and trade missions
  • Develop a “banner brand” for the IFS sector
  • Ireland to host IFS Summit

Improve operating environment & competitiveness of Ireland's IFS sector

Actions to be taken under this priority include:

  • Assess training needs for the sector
  • Implement a programme to attract international information and communications technology (ICT) talent
  • Central Bank of Ireland to review authorisation service standards reported in 2015
  • Identify potential target countries for double taxation treaty negotiation

Drive research, innovation & entrepreneurship in IFS sector

Actions to be taken under this priority include:

  • Build a more cohesive financial technology ecosystem in Ireland to drive increased collaboration between Ireland’s IT sector and IFS sectors
  • Identify sources of funding for FinTech companies

Develop emerging IFS sub-sector

  • Position Ireland as a centre of excellence for emerging fund services by setting up an indigenous “funds services cluster” and support the sector to target key jurisdictions such as the UK and North America
  • Review the payments services industry in Ireland
  • Highlight Ireland as a European centre of excellence for securitisation techniques and products

Establish Implementation Framework for IFS2020

  • Promote engagement between the government and industry stakeholders
  • Deliver annual IFS2020 progress report

For Ireland to fully capture the future opportunities in the international financial services sector, continued action must be taken to grow and support the sector. The IFS2020 strategy indicates the Government’s commitment to the continued expansion and growth of this sector.

Contributed by Niall Crowley of William Fry.